Considering how frank Republicans have been lately when it comes to suppressing the rights of those voters unlikely to vote for them, today's news out of Michigan was encouraging in the same way a perennial losing team making the playoffs is occasion for a parade. It's worthy of note, but folks have to guard against excessive celebration. First, the news:
In what counts as a profile in courage these days, a Republican governor has vetoed large parts of a package of measures that would have made it harder for minorities and the poor to vote. Michigan governor Rick Snyder said he won't sign a bill drawn up by GOP lawmakers which would have required a photo I.D. for first-time registration, or to get an absentee ballot. “Voting rights are precious and we need to work especially hard to make it possible for people to vote," Snyder said.
Yes, Governor Rick Snyder, of the Republicans' hard-Right class of 2010 and emergency managers and Benton Harbor, held back. (It's not the first time; he went against the party grain when he gave the President dap for the auto bailout back in February.) According to NPR:
Snyder said in a statement that he vetoed the three pieces of legislation because he thought they could cause "confusion" in registration efforts and with voters.
Still, liberal compliments shot his way might best take the form of those being showered upon Chief Justice John Roberts at the moment: recognize the deed, view within context of the larger record. And considering that Michigan isn't even included in the above map of voter-ID legislation from Mother Jones' staggering new report and accompanying statistical accounting of voter fraud -- as they say often in sports, it's a little early to break out the champagne.
As Mother Jones notes, (alleged) UFO sightings are more common than actual voter fraud, yet we're seeing American citizens having restrictions put on their constitutionally guaranteed right so that one party can whittle down the numbers and win an election.
It gets to the central question, once again: if Republicans actually believed that that they had the right correct vision for running the country via its government, they'd sell voters on their vision for doing just that. Instead, whenever the flag-waving isn't obstructing our view, we're seeing (certain) voters be subject to laws such as the one Snyder rejected today. Perhaps Snyder is actually for winning voters over with ideas. If that's the case, it's a shame he's vastly outnumbered within his party.